Today is my 20th birthday.
In these past two decades, I have done nothing.
Chinese immigrants generally have a problem with the English language. One problem, the same one. It is their trouble with articles – “a”, and “the”. These do not exist in Chinese. While there are equivalents for “this”, “that”, “some”, and counting words, those two are missing. One cannot ask, for instance, someone for “the truth”. It is simply not possible. One can only ask for “truth”. “I want truth”. Robbing a bank? Can’t ask for “the” money. Working an ER? Can only say “Give me scalpel”. Lent your favorite story and want it back? You must name it. Otherwise, your only option is “I want my book back”. The same “problem” exists in Japanese.
My mom still has trouble with articles today, though she doesn’t see it as a problem. She’s told there are grammatical errors here and there in her writing, that she’s missing an a or a the. And she agrees, at least on what the issue is. While native English speakers think my mom’s writing is lacking something, she thinks that putting articles in is unnecessary. That when she wants something, it is sufficient to name the item.
That “I want a X” and “I want the X” are, meaningfully, the same thing.
I am Chinese, and I have raised myself on Japanese ideas. Though I have not tested this out, I believe you can take any and every of my posts, remove all articles, and reach the same meaning that I intended. Using language is an inherently artistic process for me. I was comfortable with Cantonese as a kid to say what I wanted and get what I needed, and though (after learning it) I’ve never had too trouble using English according to English standards, I’ve also never been comfortable with English. Even though in second grade I had no clue what was going on and by fifth grade I was top of the school, it has never been possible for me to believe I can just “say what I mean” in English. Because I don’t think in English. Not exactly. I’ve been getting better at communicating what I have in my head though, though that may be due largely in part to the many structures English allows while still resulting in mostly formal language.
“Form”al – there is a form. In everything. How you use forms in language structures how you think.
But order is two parts. Just as there is no hero without both a performer and an audience, order too is not simply knowing what you want to do.
It is very hard to fail today. It is as if the world is trying to make me not fail. The language is everywhere. “Like” is every fifth word out of many peoples’ mouths, but they never finish the simile – X is like Y, but how? “You Know” is a favorite, and its express purpose is to not say what exactly it is that I “know” (“know” itself is a broken word). “That feel when” is this non-principle taken to the extreme. Feel, rather than Feeling. Whose feeling is unspecified. Which feeling is unspecified. Even – or perhaps, especially – in academia, we have phrases like “bring to bear” and “the milieu”. Bring what? The huh? Everything is murky, nothing is determined. It is perhaps perfect that people who use such language always resort to this non-argument in the end:
How would you know how I feel, you’ve never experienced X before, you don’t know the shit I’ve been through. Not All Woman Are Like X. Why do you train in such a regimented manner, if X happens to you on the street you’d be unprepared. Oh sure that’s true, but so could X and that’s why we need Y. In debate/logic this would be called the fallacy of “moving the goalposts” to the point of not having goalposts, with the implied fallacy of “false dichotomy”, where because you’re wrong or could be wrong, I’m right. Yes yes yes but we have to realize that reality does have some surprises for us and it may be more difficult FOR ME than YOU thought.
In correct English, this is called “Bullshit”.
I think I need not provide examples from all of society today to have it be clear that this noncommittal attitude towards reality is the universal in America. The best feel like they need to preface themselves on everything before saying anything. Everyone else just doesn’t reveal anything about themselves. Nothing meaningful is ever discussed. Anything that could be acted on is actively avoided. Permanency is not a concept that is conceived of – because after all, we have free will, and this is the Land of Opportunity, where at any time you can become anything you want without any effort on your part. Which is rather ironic, because this may perhaps be the least free society of all. When it is perceived to be so easy to stay in the good graces of all, any failures to toe the nearly nonexistent line reveals the true iron grip on each individual the mob has.
The problem is not that equalitism or name whatever you want is wrong. The problem is that they aren’t wrong.
Order requires the ability to be wrong.
There’s a very unique property about being wrong: when you are wrong, you have the opportunity to learn. Wrong itself is also a special property of something else – Positivity. Only people who are trying to do something can be wrong. If you are an honest person who is just bad at telling lies and everybody knows whatever you do is something you decided to put everything behind, everything you screw up on will be known to everyone. Regardless of what the response may be, you and all those around you know that it is you who failed to do something correctly. If you regularly make excuses for yourself or let other people make excuses for you, are someone who is flaky and whimsically changes (it is possible to masterfully change direction quickly) their mind, then nobody will ever blame you for anything. It was the X factor, they will say. Or the Y factor. You won’t blame yourself either. And if you don’t blame yourself, you can’t learn. But nobody wants to be wrong these days. Everyone and their Tuesdays with Morrie.
However, people still want to be right. Taking responsibility after all is the only way you can ever gain recognition. You do not gain recognition by being “not wrong”; everybody’s supposed to be not wrong. But being right? That’s something different entirely. One of the most annoying things in a classroom is when the professor puts up something for us to individually answer, some guy is all pondering about how his stuff could be the right answer, the answer is revealed, and then he said “Yes! I was right! I knew it!”
This is of course, completely false.
People who are anti-negative not only cannot be wrong, they also cannot be right.
You actually can’t just have the good half. It is fairly obvious to see; one does not require much intellect to see that people like this were actually not right. What were they doing before God came down from his Heaven and revealed the Truth? They were fucking guessing because they didn’t want to be wrong. It is perfect for them, really. With the victim mentality pervasive as it is, it is impossible to nail such people for getting the incorrect answer, and for not truly getting the correct answer. Plenty of people recognize that fakers like these are no true match for those who were confident for the duration of the question. What few recognize is that not actively condemning fakers is equivalent to saying they deserve the false recognition they receive. That these imbeciles which throw off responsibility when they could be crucified but hog all the recognition they can are welcome in your world, that these semi-ethereal ghosts out just to have fun are acceptable in your life.
It may be easy to convince people that such personalities are undesirable for a time, but they wouldn’t understand it, and they wouldn’t care because there’s no unifying principle (for them). Most people don’t think about the “bigger” the “more important” things and that’s fine, but they should be lead and want to be lead by those who do. Just as it is the pharmacist’s job to give people what they need and keep random people from screwing with the stores, so it is that it is a leader’s job to show people and make people do what is necessary for societal order.
Order requires action, and action requires leaders.
But there are no leaders today. Talk about leaders today, and people will point to some rock star holding a concert for starving children in Africa. Or to some politician extending student loans. Or, now, video game streamers saying that all donations they get in some timeframe will go to some other charity fundraiser. Gee. That’s just flippin fabulous ain’t it. Here is, by material wealth, the greatest nation that has ever existed, and the best and the whole of the greatest goodness this culture can achieve can be met by everyone with: “Oh, that’s nice.” Went and organized “community service”? Oh, that’s nice. Started a canned food drive? Oh, that’s nice. The other leaders we have these days are even more ridiculous. I saw a facebook page the other day sharing something. It was a page with a larger likebase, and he said he’d share the picture from the page with the smaller fanbase if the admin of the latter ejaculated on it. Guess what? He did. And the larger page shared it. This is what passes for leadership and honesty and honor these days.
Oh but it isn’t leadership. I forget. It’s all just for “fun”. The other shit too, especially music. “I Just Had Sex”? “Baby Baby Baby Oh”?
THIS IS HOW YOU WANT TO BE SEEN?
This is not a culture.
The reason why the response has to be “Oh, that’s nice” is because there’s too many god damn leaders. Imagine for a moment, that there was only one guy doing “good things” in the world. You’d look up to him, no? If what that guy was doing was obviously beyond the reach of normal men and events, something you could only take a tiny part in, you’d want to be part of that. It would be an honor. Now imagine every man, his girlfriend and her cat were out helping the world. Imagine also that it was incredibly easy to do “good things”, and it would take an incredible amount of effort to do “wrong”. You’d have to see everyone as less than that one lone hero. You only have so much time and so much energy; it is impossible to devote to each and every person your undivided attention. At some point, long before it got to the cat, you’d be oversaturated. You wouldn’t be able to handle it. The best you’d be able to manage is a fake “Oh, that’s nice”. Not even a genuine feeling of gratitude cut short due to urgency in a separate matter. Just something to fill the intense and chaotic yet bland and senseless void.
Until you get criticized, like I’m doing right now.
Then everything’s crystal clear.
Because then, there’s always some fuckaround about how I’m doing X Y Z A B C. And you and everyone like you disappear back into the static.
But I’ve seen enough to know that they’re not magical beings with knowledge I don’t have. I believed it for the longest time because hey, I was indeed the outsider and people usually have reasons for doing what they’re doing. However, this society is the opposite – people always have reasons for not doing what they’re not doing. Both as a legal and a psychological defense, Americans meta themselves to infinity and beyond, thinking that at some level they will make enough people think they’re in over their heads that they’ll be free to simply run the same trick around again infinitely to both steal successes and avoid failures.
It’s a nice logic trick, really. I have to hand it to them. It’d never work where the world in culture’s eye was one where everyone needed to carry their own weight – even just socially. If you had to deal with people liking you or not liking you, for things you did or didn’t do, this would not happen. Whether you dealt with it by socking them in the face or talking with them or hell even walking away from them on the street, you had to deal with it. This sleight of mind could never be pulled on humans who needed every last member to do productive work for means of survival. You would either have to work or show that you are attempting to recover. Fakes and “Lazies” (I repeat myself) would be dumped real fast.
But it’s possible now because nobody holds anything anymore. In the freest minds of the freest society ever known, fate saves everyone from having to deal with undesirable issues. For successes one will always spend the most effort on appearing like much effort was spent. For failures one will always spend the most effort on finding someone to nail and nailing them in. For everything else – “Oh that’s nice” or “That’s offensive” – it’s just because the Great American Slob has not gotten around to it yet.
The American Dream was wrong.
There cannot be such thing as a nation of kings.
“It’s All Good” is another phrase which reveals a lot. I recently distilled into three words the ideal Japanese, Chinese, and American woman. In respective order, they are:
- Honor, Discipline, Deference
- Fidelity, Childraising, Housekeeping
- Ass, Tits, Face
Rather than a discussion on which set is the best, everywhere I discussed it with people of America the first response was “My Ideal Woman: All of the above!“. If it is hard to imagine another response, it should not be. While my mom helped give me the Chinese ideal, her response when I told her the other two were that the American ideal probably exists because of blacks and the Japanese ideal was women as slaves. Whether these statements are true or not true is not particularly relevant to me at the moment; what is relevant is that this response existed. You wouldn’t know it if you asked mainstream kids, because they think they can just take everything. Oh that’s nice. Oh that’s nice too. Oh it’s all nice, I want it all! As if such things just magically came into existence on their own, that if you just wished hard enough for it, you too could have a dream wife walk to your doorstep the next day, marry you on sight, fuck your brains out 24/7 and still have enough time to cook you any meal you’d like instantly and provide you with all the money you could ever use and get a power high on.
Order had to fight to get to its position, and you think you in your highness and mightiness can just come down from your heaven and pick the prettiest peasant girl to take back to your castle? Or worse, the female version, where the smartest and greatest desires you and only you and will move heaven and earth to show their worthiness for entrance to your soul? These methods have been created through thousands and thousands of years, hundreds and hundreds of generations. There is a reason why all modern civilizations have had monarchy. There is a reason why all modern civilizations have been based on monogamy. There’s a reason why matriarchies have never gotten anywhere without the help of patriarchies. There’s a fucking reason why the Japanese ideal says Honor, Discipline, Deference rather than all 9 I have there. It’s because those are THE most important. It’s because to them, societal order is THE virtue. Not “function” of the Chinese, or “sex” of the Americans. “Feel good” doesn’t mean jack shit, and this little example proves it. I ask Americans once, they say ass tits face. This in and of itself is not a “bad” answer; it is organized by something rather clear. Whether or not it is a good organizer is a different matter. But I show them the results afterwards, they do not respond with any thought to the other ideals. It’s “all good”, or in other words, they smacked down the other ideals – “that’s nice”. “You’re good, good enough for me to take with no attachment, good enough for me to wipe my ass with. But not good enough for me to respect.”
Everything’s just “nice”.
Imagine your mother or your lover in a burning flipped over car crushed between a rock wall and an 18 wheeler.
Do you see the difference?
People don’t know how to think or how to act unless there’s somebody on top and some idea to organize it “All”. Everything, from dedication to anger, from dissatisfaction to adoration, none of these can even begin to exist until something or/and/thus someone marches up to the plate to pull the fucking sword out of the stone. Forget everything about offensive or inoffensive, correct or incorrect, none of that matters unless you have an organizing principle, and that principle doesn’t exist until you throw it into the fire to see if it burns.
Reason does not come first.
Authority comes first.
【Chizuru】「What would Mitsurugi do by replacing me?」
【Takeru】「Bring everyone back together.」
【Chizuru】「That’d just make the chain of command fall apart.」
【Takeru】「Eh? …sorry for the amateur opinion here, but wouldn’t it work the other way around? Didn’t it actually fall apart because she didn’t take your place?」
【Chizuru】「No. It fell apart because a soldier didn’t obey her superior’s orders.」
【Takeru】「I’m not so sure…didn’t it fall apart because there was something wrong with the order you gave?」
【Chizuru】「We don’t know if it’s wrong until afterward. Besides, that’s not what we’re talking about. The problem is whether or not the soldiers obey their orders in the first place.」
【Takeru】「Class Rep, are you trying to say that soldiers should obey their superiors’ orders even if they know they’re wrong?」
【Takeru】「……are you…feeling okay?」
【Chizuru】「Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying anything about the orders I gave. I’m only talking about the right to give orders.」
【Takeru】「Hey now… okay, if you give me an order saying that this table is red, does that make it red!?」
【Takeru】「Y-you actually said it…」
【Chizuru】「Soldiers who don’t obey orders expose not just themselves but their entire squad to danger, possibly even their entire army.」
【Takeru】「Wait a minute. Isn’t it more dangerous to obey a bad order?」
【Chizuru】「Stop thinking you can judge the commander’s orders. You really aren’t getting this at all.」
【Chizuru】「Commanders are given a lot more information to make decisions with than the individual soldiers. Their orders have to reflect the best interests of the whole squad.」
【Chizuru】「Do you think a soldier with far less information can make a better decision than her commander?」
【Takeru】「To me, it feels like… thinking you can make a better decision just because you have more info is the real problem.」
【Chizuru】「Orders are absolute. You are in no position to ask whether they’re right or wrong.」
【Takeru】「That’s a dangerous way of thinking…」
【Chizuru】「What? What’s dangerous about it?」
【Takeru】「So if you were literally ordered to die…would you do it?」
Hey now, you’ve gotta be kidding me. How far is Class Rep going to take this?
【Takeru】「Are you guys really okay with all of this?」
【Meiya】「…I have no problem with it.」
【Meiya】「In principle and ideal, what Sakaki said is correct, albeit a little extreme. However, your response to it is no less extreme.」
【Takeru】「Do you really mean that?」
【Meiya】「Then I shall ask you this. Have you ever once obeyed your father?」
【Takeru】「Huh? Of course I have.」
【Meiya】「Why did you obey him? Did he have some kind of power over you?」
【Takeru】「No way! You just have to do what dad says, what more is there to it?」
【Meiya】「It seems you understand now. This is no different. If you disobeyed your father, what would happen to your family? Think about it.」
【Takeru】「Y-you’ve got a point there…」
That is the nature of law and order. Since there is no absolute justice in this world, someone has to make decisions. Because those decisions are necessary, we cannot determine whether they are right.
– Meiya Mitsurugi, Muv-Luv Unlimited
I do not think of myself as intelligent. Every day, I see more people doing amazing things I couldn’t imagine, write about ideas I’ve never thought about, I learn my place.
But it doesn’t exist enough. I know an order should exist but it doesn’t. I want it to exist but no one is taking it. The only authority today which exists for us “independent” young men and women is the mob of the social media – which tells us, we don’t need order. It’s okay, because we are all Sovereigns. I don’t believe it. Some are better than others; we take this for granted in everything except social ordering. I simply take it granted for that one more, one last thing.
I am seeking it. I believe everyone is. Everyone wants “a place to belong”. I have always doubted that simply getting married to some woman and living alone with one other person doing nothing but snuggling and fixing up the house is enough. For better or worse, I am now never going to believe in such a fantasy. A society and a culture an order a structure explicit is what I desire.
And I will create my own, so long as I do not find a better one.
If I’m wrong, I learn things hard until I do get it right. If I’m right, it was fate. I never have an “I told you so moment”. It would be redundant for me to say “I told you so”.
I said at the beginning you could probably remove all the articles and reach the same meaning. You can remove all references to I and Me as well. What I do discuss, I think everyone should do. I won’t tell you you should. I prefer making you want to do it yourself. I desire a world where “I” in the discussion of order is as unnecessary as “a” and “the”. A and The specifies any singular and the true particular. In order, they are the same. Me and I specify the self.
In order, they are not what’s important.
I hope you will find that what’s written on this blog supports this claim.
Thank you for your continued audience.
The fool who persists in his folly will become wise. / The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.
– William Blake
Welcome to Fight Club.
The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.
The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!
Third rule of Fight Club: someone yells “stop!”, goes limp, taps out, the fight is over.
Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight.
Fifth rule: one fight at a time, fellas.
Sixth rule: No shirts, no shoes.
Seventh rule: fights will go on as long as they have to.
And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight.
– Tyler Durden, Fight Club